Alexis Silva

Alexis Silva


Major: Music Composition

Arboretum Ambassador

Alexis Silva


My first experiences in the Arboretum and Public Garden began my freshman year when I took a seminar on the positive effects that nature has on one’s well-being, also known as Nature Rx. I became very fond of the Arboretum and Public Garden and I was excited to find opportunities within it.

I would say that my favorite project while working here would be our Friday Chair Share programming. I really love participating in this programming because I get the opportunity to talk to both community members and the university students who I would normally not have the opportunity to interact with. It makes me feel very happy and fulfilled whenever I get to meet someone who is visiting the Arboretum for the first time or speak with someone who simply enjoys this beautiful space as much as I do!  I would say that it is simply through these conversations that I feel that the Learning by Leading program has had the most impact in the UC Davis community.

Through these experiences of community outreach, I feel that the Learning by Leading program has certainly allowed me to develop my leadership skills. This is because my mentor, Melissa Cruz Hernandez, offers my team the opportunities throughout the school year to take the lead on certain events and coordinate large events, one of which included the California Honey Festival that I led last year and this year’s Picnic Day parade float. When I first started the program, the idea of leading a group of people and planning seemed intimidating to me, however, being part of a very close knit team has made me feel more comfortable taking the initiative with large projects.

Prior to joining the Learning by Leading team, I didn’t really have an idea of what I wanted to pursue for a future career (apart from somewhere in the realm of music because of my major). However, after spending about two years in the Arboretum, I now realized that I really love interacting with the community and pushing the idea of the outdoors and how essential it is to our everyday lives. Throughout my senior year I’ve been feeling quite nervous about what I will do post-college, however, with all the skills I have picked up while being an ambassador, and all the conversations I’ve had with my mentor Melissa, I am now considering a career either with the California state parks or perhaps a community program that focus on outdoor teaching and outreach.

It has definitely been a fun and unique experience working here at the Arboretum and Public Garden. I’ll really miss the small things like chatting with my co-workers and the visitors while tabling at the sheep mowers events, or getting to stare at all the poppies as I bike to Headquarters for weekly meetings.

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